Photos by L.G. Patterson
In my life, I’ve been lucky enough to have great cooks to inspire and teach me.
My mother was a fantastic cook who taught me to make a consistently good roast. I’ve got a tremendously talented brother-in-law who treats me to cioppino — fresh seafood stew — each summer, and believe me, I look forward to it.
But most of all, my cousin Martha Lou is the one who got me started on my path to catering. She and I used to daydream about the kitchen we would have and the dishes we would prepare in our very Martha Stewart-like business.
This dip recipe is one of hers and I love making it, knowing part of our legacy made it into my very real kitchen and onto your very real party buffets. It’s creamy, savory and fresh, and the combination of flavors, colors and textures works for any event. I usually form it into a ring, resulting in my youngest calling it “donut dip,” but you could flatten it in a pie plate for easy transportation or even shape it into a ball if you’re feeling retro fancy.
I hope you think about the cooks who inspire you when making and serving it.
Caprese (aka Summer) Dip
- 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 bunch greens onions, chopped
- 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved or quartered (Or you can use fresh local tomatoes, chopped.)
- A big handful of fresh basil, chopped
For the dressing
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- NOTE: I sometimes use a pre-made balsamic glaze if I don’t have time to make the dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, feta and green onions. Blend until smooth and combined.
- Form into a ball on a plate, making a well in the center. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days at this point.
- Top with the chopped tomatoes, basil, additional green onions and some of the balsamic dressing. We serve it with pita chips or any kind of cracker.